With a longer camp than his recent norms in the bag, ninth-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight Kelvin Gastelum believes he’ll have all the answers to any problems Jared Cannonier will offer at UFC Vegas 34.
Kelvin Gastelum vs Jared Cannonier will headline the UFC’s August 21 event from inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Throughout his run in the middleweight division, Gastelum has constantly faced elite competition and several times on short notice. After losing four of his last five, there is a thought that The Ultimate Fighter season 17 winner should take a step back from facing talent in the top five. That may be taking on some lower-ranked competitors, and building up a new winning streak would be good for his hopes to a return to title contention.
Kelvin Gastelum sees the errors in his short-notice bookings ahead of UFC Vegas 34
However, the 29-year-old doesn’t believe he needs to take a step back from competing against the best the UFC’s middleweight division has to offer. Although he concedes that having taken short-notice bouts, as he did in his recent loss to Robert Whittaker in April, may have been a bigger hindrance in his success. It’s something he did not endure for his fight on Saturday night against Cannonier.
“My team, and myself, we still believe that we belong at the top. And we still believe we can take these fights, and win these fights. And so far, that’s why we are here … The time to prepare for [the Cannonier fight] was just night and day. Given nine weeks, rather than three weeks is a world of a difference. We’ll definitely think next time about taking these short-notice fights,” Gastelum said during his media day interviews on Wednesday.
Gastelum feels he is well prepared for what Jared Cannonier will have to offer
Gastelum has faced a whose-who of talent in the 185-pound division. Including former and current champions Chris Weidman, Whittaker, and Israel Adesanya. Although he has respect for what third-ranked middleweight Cannonier will bring to the Octagon tomorrow night, the Arizona native thinks he is well prepared for his UFC Vegas 34 opponent because of his preparation from a long camp, and from what he has seen in the Octagon over his eight year run in the UFC.
“I’ve been fighting for a long time. I’ve seen what he brings to the table, and I’ve experienced it in the cage as well, and so we believe we have answers for everything he may bring,” Gastelum said.
UFC Vegas 34 takes place on Saturday night inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card kicks off at 7 pm ET and will air on ESPN 2 and ESPN+. The main card follows at 10 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN+.